Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
"Bad Teacher" is a pulled punch, a pot-smoking/kid cussing/teacher copulating farce that is less than the sum of its parts.
A refreshingly raucous comedy that comes surprisingly close to completely living up to its lack of conviction...
New York Times:
Ms. Diaz has found her down-and-dirty element in the kind of broad comedy that threatens to get ugly and more or less succeeds on that threat.
The movie's nods to the bare-bones economics of educators' lives are subversive and admirable.
Wall Street Journal:
Have talented actors ever struggled so much to so little avail? Ms. Diaz sells her lines like a street vendor peddling fake Timexes.
Bad Teacher isn't subtle in its "borrowing" from its clear inspiration, but it is savvy.
Kasdan and writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg construct the film as a series of set pieces, some funnier than others.
"Bad Teacher" is exactly the one-joke movie that you probably expect it to be, but there are enough variations and shadings of that one joke to sustain its brief running time -- just barely.
This movie is what you do when you have never been to school or don't like education. Or movies, comedies, women, breasts, sex, or dodgeball.
J. R. Jones,
Diaz, costars Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake, and a sharp supporting cast (Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith, Thomas Lennon, John Michael Higgins) manage to deliver a crappy good time, mercifully devoid of any heart-tugging teacher-student subplots.
The best lines were harvested for the trailer -- so if you've seen that, you've seen it all.
Christian Science Monitor:
Has its lewd funniness, though not often enough to make it worthy of not only Bad Santa but, more to the point, School of Rock.
Dallas Morning News:
We're more concerned with the mock-shock screenplay futilely in search of a story, and the characters that could have been created on an Etch A Sketch.
Everyone loves an anti-hero, but usually there's something redeeming about the character that makes you want to root for them in the end. Not so much in Bad Teacher.
We're not on Elizabeth's side, or anyone else's, really. We're just watching a film try to pass off misanthropic blunt-wittedness as ''edge.''
Eric D. Snider,
Diaz performs with gusto, but the screenplay doesn't give her many funny things to say.
Having decided not to risk offending us, it could at least work a little harder to earn our affection.
Diaz is funny, all right, but she is no miracle worker, so she can't erase the movie's slow spots or make it feel shorter than its 92-minute running time (it feels much, much longer, never a good sign for a comedy).
If you can see past the dismal sexual politics of "Bad Teacher," which I couldn't, you might applaud the gall of a film that expends so little effort in forcing us to like its central character.
The film is fast and often funny. And while it's not for children - really - I bet the adults who just spent a school year with them are going to love it.
There are plenty of quality gags seeping through from the margins.
New York Post:
A fitfully amusing comedy that promises far more outrageousness than it actually delivers.
The concept titillates - an oversexed, drug-abusing, foul-mouthed, doesn't-give-a-s--- woman put in charge of a classroom - but the result is drab, obvious, and disappointing.
Hard to root for such a selfish lead, but "Bad Teacher" has just enough politically incorrect humor to warrant a grade of B.
Cameron Diaz's fem spin on Billy Bob Thornton's Bad Santa should have added up to raunchy fun. Sadly, it only took about 10 minutes to wipe the smile off my face.
"Bad Teacher" keeps threatening to become entertaining without quite getting there, but it took me a while to realize how truly awful it is.
If you're looking for a funny comedy about a cynical, hard-partying school teacher transformed by his students into a paragon of pedagogical awesomeness, skip Bad Teacher and go rent School of Rock instead.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Makes a homecoming bonfire out of schoolroom pieties and drags heroic-educator yarns into the boy's bathroom for a swirlie.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The classroom comedy "Bad Teacher" could have been sent to detention for copying off of "Bad Santa," but it's brazenly funny in its own right - until it turns into a goody two-shoes.
Globe and Mail:
Shame the flick's just a one-note joke because, sight unseen, Bad Teacher had me at the title.
It's a basic but amusing farce gifted with enough sharp lines to carry you through the lean patches.
As film school assignments go, Bad Teacher is a potentially "A" topic with a "C" result that would require considerable remedial writing to upgrade.
The film's rhythms are disjointed, and there are tedious patches and gaping holes in the story. No one bothered to create anything beyond a vague outline of a superficial character.
Its comic rhythms are out of whack, and sloppy continuity and unfilled story blanks suggest ample post-production surgery on a pic that commenced shooting more than a year ago.
Are actresses like Diaz and Punch really cool with punishing material based on the worst male-invented stereotypes of the way women deceptively control men and compete with one another?
This fitfully funny but mostly dull misfire defines exactly where the line can be drawn between truly subversive humor and lazy cynicism.